The Republic of Mauritius (French; Republique de Maurice) is an island nation in the Indian ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200) ml) off the southeast coast of the African Continent.
This was the only home of the ‘Dodo’ bird featured in my last blog entry as your clue to this destination.
It’s motto reads: “Stella Clavisque Maris Indici” (“Star and key of the Indian ocean”)
The island was unknown and uninhabited before it’s first recorded visit during the Middle Ages by Arab sailors, who named it Dina Arobi. Diogo Fernandes Pereira, a Portugese navigator was the first European to land in Mauritius. He named the island ‘llha do Cirne’
They did not however stay long as they were not interested in these islands.
We on the other hand were very interested and I hope that the photographs today and those which are to follow over the Monday’s to come, will do justice to the beauty of this place, and give the reader an idea of how wonderfully welcoming the people of Mauritius truly are.
This blog entry then is to say thank you to everyone who courteously put themselves out and always took the time to ensure that we were comfortable and happy.
It was humbling to be made to feel such a complete part of this unique extended family.
Sometimes; if you are lucky that is. There are some wonderful and exceptional people we get to meet on this our journey through life!
I was indeed lucky! And won’t forget my time spent here with everybody. Beautiful parents and grandparents, young families who work such long hours but who never stop smiling and are so appreciative and considerate.
I will also remember the beauty of their children’s faces and their unstinting sense of fun and joy.
Visually, features like their amazing glossy jet black hair remain in my mind as do their piercing deep brown eyes. Each with smiles so bright; they would be any photographers dream!
And now that we are back in Blighty I shall miss it all.
The friendship, the laughter we all shared and the amazing fusion of outstanding foods which we each relished and enjoyed.
Oh that food…did I mention the food? So much food!!
On returning home I now find myself ’rounder’ than I was when I left U.K. I also find myself looking in the fridge for a snack or what I now shall never stop referring to as (gadgac)
In Mauritius this is what they laughingly refer to as their snack!
Well, I suppose that it is indeed a snack of sorts!
Deliciously tempting moreish delicasies served up on beautifully laid tables await the unsuspecting traveller on every visit to a family members home or dwelling.
Our first mistake here; was to assume that the snack we had been eating was it!!?
But oh no! How wrong could we have been? These were merely nibbles; which were the precursor for their main meal of the evening. So at eleven o’clock at night out came the rice and potatoes and the spicy hot roti’s and chilli filled triangular shaped pastries.
Pots and pots arrived and there we all sat scratching and tearing at our ankles and elbows through the mosquito laden evening; whilst dipping this delicious food in and out of a multitude of tiny dishes, each containing ‘fiery surprises’ and some so strong that they were capable of totally incapacitating the function of your Respiratory system!
Then to add to this veritable feast we drank local Rum and Mauritian Whisky Gin Vodka and bottles and bottles of ‘Phoenix’ beer! I was also taken aback at how we were at one point the only ones eating? This I was informed was customary, and that once invited; then our guests and extended family would join us in the festivities.
Such humility! And a gesture I saw readily repeated at every subsequent visit.
I am genuinely surprised that after two weeks of this ‘over indulgence’ our aircraft was even able to leave the ground yesterday!
Hats off to all the family though. Your hospitality far surpassed my belief and expectations.
For my part, I intend to learn some new recipes from my daughter who is now well versed in such matters and amazingly trim into the bargain. So one day should any of you guys come over to England; even secretely…BEWARE, for I shall be waiting at the airport for your plane to land. I will be laden with a variety of food and drink; lots and lots of it!
So you only have yourselves to blame! Okay?
Now as I am sure many of you seasoned travellers are aware; there are always two sides to every coin?
Later we were to experience a stay in an absolutely luxurious five star hotel; and to see how those with money interpret and envisage island life!
Often such holiday makers remain on site rarely ever venturing out. Then they pack up and fly home with the firm belief that their chosen venue was indeed an accurate reflection of life in this tropical paradise?
We though were extremely lucky to have lived breathed and shared the ‘REAL’ Mauritius through it’s people and their culture. We sang with them danced with them, dined with them and laughed with them. What a place this was…and what an experience!
I really do hope that you enjoyed todays entry? I will be sharing more of our experiences with you every Monday from until I have covered our whole fantastic trip.
Thank you for taking the trouble to read this today folks, I would love to hear your comments should you have any?
I look forward to catching up with you all again over the coming weeks.
Meanwhile I think I feel a gadgak moment coming on; but it’s still so early in the day!